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Adult Children Must Visit Parents Regularly by Law

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Adult children of elderly parents will be required to visit their parents regularly and must care for their spiritual needs and cannot neglect or isolate them, according to a draft amendment of Chinas elder law, Legal Daily reported Wednesday.

In traditional Chinese thinking, children who have come of age have the duty to support and assist their parents. However, among the total number of 167 million elderly people, half of them are living alone without children, and some of them cannot even get good care, said the report.

An official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs said wherever conditions permit, they will be required to extend old age allowance to citizens over 80 and provide them free medical and other health services.

As for home-based care for the elderly, social institutions, volunteers and community workers will be encouraged to offer more door-to-door services according to the draft amendment, said the official.

Chinas current elder law, called the Law of the People's Republic of China on Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, was adopted on Aug 29, 1996, and went into effect Oct 1, 1996.

( January 6, 2011)